Patrick Dempsey will tackle the 2015 motorsport season at the wheel of a Porsche 911 RSR in the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the world famous Le Mans 24-hour race. The American actor and race driver, who is known to fans all over the world in his role as Dr Derek Shepherd in the US medical drama ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, has been following his passion for racing since 2013 as a member of the Porsche motorsport family. With the expanded race programme, the successful alliance between Porsche and Patrick Dempsey will continue.
“I’m already looking forward to 2015 and I’m proud to be able to contest the entire WEC as well as Le Mans with a Porsche,” Patrick said at the launch of the programme yesterday at the Los Angeles Auto Show. “Porsche’s experience in long distance racing is invaluable. Porsche was winning sports car races before I was even born. As a childhood fan of Porsche, I grew up with its successes at Le Mans, Daytona and the Targa Florio. There are moments when I simply cannot believe that I am now a member of this great team.”
Patrick Dempsey will contest the races of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC) with the Porsche customer team Dempsey Proton Racing in the GTE-Am class. One of his team-mates will be the experienced Porsche factory Works driver Patrick Long (USA), with whom he also trains away from the race circuit. Both men live in California, USA. In addition to the WEC races, guest appearances in Porsche brand trophy Championships such as the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as support to Formula One races are also planned.
During his first season with Porsche, Patrick Dempsey scored fourth place in the GTE-Am class at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2013 with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. In addition, he notched up two podium placings in the American Le Mans Series, taking home second from Laguna Seca and third from Austin. The highlights of the 2014 season included a fifth place at Le Mans in a Porsche 911 RSR as well as a podium spot at the new Tudor United SportsCar Championship round at the Virginia International Raceway, where he finished third driving a Porsche 911 GT America.
“We look forward to an exciting 2015 season with Patrick Dempsey and to the continuation of our successful partnership,” said Bernhard Maier, Porsche AG Board Member for Sales and Marketing, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. “Before he drove his first race with Porsche, the world knew him primarily as an actor. Over the last two years we’ve come to know him as a passionate race driver who embodies the professionalism and amiability that makes the Porsche motorsport family what it is. Now we are full of anticipation for more successes together.”
“Customer sport enjoys a high priority at Porsche,” affirms Porsche Head of Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser. “For this reason, we’re pleased to support Patrick Dempsey and the Dempsey Proton Racing team by providing one of our most successful and experienced works drivers. Patrick Long and Patrick Dempsey have already contested several races together and they complement each other perfectly.”
Porsche at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show
The second generation of the 911 Carrera GTS also made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and joined Patrick Dempsey centre stage on the Porsche stand.The 911 Carrera GTS lines up alongside the acclaimed Boxster GTS, Cayman GTS, Panamera GTS and Cayenne GTS in the range of sports cars from Stuttgart.
Each of the four new 911 Carrera GTS models – a Coupé and a Cabriolet, available with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive – build on the established core values of the iconic rear-engined 911 by adding further technical features to generate even higher levels of dynamic performance and driving enjoyment.
Under the rear engine lid lies an evocative flat-six power unit, tuned to develop 430 hp, an increase of 30 hp over the Carrera S. This is combined with the Sport Chrono package offering dynamic engine mounts. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is carried over from the Carrera S models, and lowers the car's ride height by ten millimetres.
Improved efficiency has also led to quicker acceleration and higher top speeds, and Combined fuel consumption figures remain unchanged from the favourable level of the S models. For example, when combined with the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) double-clutch gearbox, the 911 Carrera GTS can return 32.5 mpg and also sprint from zero to 62 mph in 4.0 seconds (Cabriolet: 4.2 seconds). With the standard seven-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, a top speed of 198 mph is possible.
The exterior of the new 911 Carrera GTS – like other GTS models – differs significantly from the other Carrera models. All versions feature the 911 Carrera 4 body with wide-flared rear wheel arches and a wider track. Also standard are 20-inch diameter alloy wheels with centre-lock mechanism, painted in an exclusive matt black finish. A further highlight is the air intake grille on the rear engine lid featuring bespoke GTS black trim strips and black chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes add to the strong visual identity. Further aural distinction is delivered via the standard sports exhaust system, which delivers an unmistakable GTS sound.
The 911 Carrera GTS is priced from £91,098 and arrives in Porsche Centres in the UK and Ireland this month.
New Cayenne GTS unveiled
A new 440 hp version of the Porsche 3.6-litre V6 bi-turbo engine lies at the heart of the new Cayenne GTS, which also made its premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Offering the potential to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds, or just 5.1 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package, the Cayenne GTS has a top speed of 162 mph. In keeping with the GTS tradition, it also has a standard sports exhaust system which provides the familiar, deep sporting soundtrack.
Courtesy of its uprated chassis, the Cayenne GTS captivates drivers with its unmistakable cornering dynamics. The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) damping system has a sporting set-up, and with the standard steel-spring suspension the vehicle sits 24 mm lower. Fitted with the optional air suspension, the figure is 20 mm. Further standard features include brakes from the Cayenne Turbo with 390 mm diameter discs on the front axle (358 mm at the back), combined with brake callipers painted red in typical Turbo fashion.
Other exterior design attributes also make the Cayenne GTS a particularly distinctive vehicle. As standard, it has the Turbo nose section with large air intakes and the Sport Design package including more contoured side sills and wheel arch extensions. The latter, like the roof spoiler and lower rear of the vehicle, are painted body colour. Black provides some striking contrasts: all lettering is in this hue, as are the 20-inch wheels in the RS Spyder design, the exhaust tailpipes and aspects of the bi-Xenon headlights, while the fitment of darkened LED rear lights completes the sporting stance.
The sporting character continues on the inside, with a familiar GTS ambience led by sports seats trimmed in leather/Alcantara upholstery, including ‘GTS’ lettering on the head restraints. The Porsche Cayenne GTS is on sale now, priced from £72,523.